Comelec to finish printing of barangay, SK poll ballots in 35 days

MANILA-- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking to complete the printing of over 77 million official ballots for the October 23 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls, in a little over a month or 35 days.

Comelec Printing Committee head Genevieve Guevara said they want to complete the printing of 77,261,086 ballots at the soonest time possible.

"We are looking to finish ahead of our timeline and complete printing in 35 days," she said at the press conference for the ballot printing kick-off event at the National Printing Office (NPO) in Quezon City on Wednesday.

Based on the projected timeline, the Comelec will be printing 100,000 to 1.5 million ballots daily this month and by September 1, they are looking at reaching a two million daily output up until October 9.

They will be printing 56,468,566 ballots for the barangay polls and another 20,792,520 ballots for the youth elections.

?Each ballot has a cost of PHP3 for a total budget of PHP231.6 million.

Initially, the ballots that were printed are for Batanes. It will be followed by provinces in Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).?

"We will start with far-flung areas first, except those in Mindanao given the scheduled public hearing for the postponement of the elections in Mindanao," Guevara explained.

Other election forms to be printed at the NPO are Election Returns, Statement of Votes by Precinct, and Certificates of Canvass and Proclamation.

On the other hand, COMELEC Chairman Juan Andres Bautista they are prepared to work double time if ever they will be told that the village and youth polls will push through but stressed that working overtime would entail additional costs.

"Once we get a word that the elections is already a go, we will really fast track the printing as well as the shipping of ballots," he said.

With this, the poll body chief has again called on lawmakers to come out with a decision if they want the scheduled polls to push through or not.

"This is the reason why we really need the decision of our leaders already regarding the postponement," Bautista added.

Source: Philippine News Agency